Sunday, October 31, 2010

25% Discount on Family Tree University Courses

I received this announcement from Family Tree University:

Give Thanks for Your Family This Holiday Season!

Learn more about them with a course from Family Tree University. Register for any upcoming course and save 25%. Enter coupon code THANKS10 when you register.

Courses Start November 8:

New! German Genealogy 201: Strategies and Skillbuilding
Building on our course Find Your German Roots: From America to Deutschland, this class focuses on skills German researchers need to dig deeper into their families’ pasts. You’ll learn tricks for reading German script and type, what the Family History Library system can contribute to your research, and how to track down German ancestors who lived outside of today’s Germany.

New! Source Documentation: How to Cite Genealogy Sources Accurately and Effectively
“There is no truth without proof.” Successful genealogists abide by this, and it will be your new motto after this course. Knowing how to accurately cite your sources helps you work smarter and faster, gives your research credibility and helps you bust down brick walls. This course will focus on the Evidence! style of citation, the one most commonly used by genealogists.

New! Discover Your Family Tree: Genealogy for the Absolute Beginner
When you’re a family history newbie, the prospect of diving into your roots research can seem overwhelming. This course will start you on the fun and rewarding journey of discovering your roots. Learn how to begin, where to look for information to extend your family tree, what to do with what you find and how to put it all together.

Google Tools for Genealogists: Four Resources to Enhance Your Family History
Go beyond simple web searches and take advantage of Google’s other built-in tools, which can be just as helpful for family tree research. This course will explore four of the tools best suited to help you with your genealogy: News Archive and Timeline, Book Search, YouTube and Google Earth.

Reverse Genealogy: Working Forward to Break Down Brick Walls
When we first begin researching our family tree, we’re taught that we should start with ourselves and work backward. Starting at the end of someone’s life and working backward is the most efficient and accurate way to research—in most cases. But two genealogical challenges call for a change in strategy: overcoming brick walls and finding living relatives.

Death Records 101: Find What Your Ancestors Left Behind
Ben Franklin said the only things certain in life were death and taxes—genealogists can add paperwork to that list. When our ancestors passed, many records were created in their wake. This course will explore death records and related sources, including wills, obituaries, funeral home records, burial permits and coroner reports.

Cemetery Research 101: Dig Up Your Family History
You know you’ve been bitten by the genealogy bug when cemeteries cease to be creepy and turn into a place you can spend hours. Cemetery Research 101 will get you excited about exploring the final resting places of your ancestors and give you the knowledge you need to read tombstones, decipher plot maps and keep your research organized.

Newspaper Research 101: Find Your Ancestors in American News Sources
Newspapers are essentially a time capsule for your ancestors. Papers can provide clues to major and minor events in your ancestor’s life through obituaries, social columns, birth announcements and other news stories. In this class you’ll learn how to find and use newspaper archives—online, on paper and on microfilm—to put together missing pieces of your genealogical research.

Trace Your Polish Roots: Strategies for Searching in the US and Poland
Poland’s long history is fraught with border changes, ethnic strife and an ongoing quest for autonomy. If you’re among the more than 9 million Americans with Polish roots, we’ll help you find your Polish ancestors by debunking myths, explaining history and pointing you to the most useful records.

Organize Your Genealogy: Get Your Research in Order (and Keep It That Way)
A successful genealogist often ends up with an embarrassment of riches: too much information in too many places. Whether you work on paper or do everything online, getting your research organized is essential to keeping track of ancestors and making sure you know where to put new ones in your family tree. This course will rescue you from unhelpful habits and get your workspace—virtual or physical—tidy again.

Digital Photography Essentials: Techniques to Capture and Preserve Your Family History
Photography is an essential tool for genealogists—not only for capturing family memories now, but also for preserving old documents and heirlooms. This course will help you master the basics of using digital cameras, photo editing software and scanners in your genealogy work.

Creating a Family History Book: Start-to-Finish Guidance for Assembling and Printing a Family Keepsake
You’ve worked hard to uncover your family’s history, and you want to preserve your research in a form that will stand the test of time—a keepsake book that can be shared today as well as archived for future generations. If you’ve ever thought such a project was too overwhelming or that you had to complete you research before you could create your book, this simply isn’t true. Family history books come in all flavors, from collections of family recipes to compilations of oral history interviews. This course will show you how to make the process manageable and enjoyable from start to finish.

Finding African-American Ancestors in Newspapers: Research Strategies for Success
Conducting research on African-Americans ancestors is a challenging proposition and one must use all the available resources. Newspapers can provide a critical link to research success once the genealogist learns some important general knowledge along with a few essential skills. This course will equip you with key background information for newspaper research, expose myths pertaining to the use of white newspapers, give you the skill and confidence to seek out and utilize African-American newspapers, and furnish you with invaluable tips and strategies designed to optimize your success.

US Military Records: Trace Your Ancestors’ Service
With so many military conflicts throughout America’s history, it’s likely your ancestors were involved. Finding records of their service will help you round out the portraits of their lives and honor their memory. Military files also can reveal information about widows and children—and even ancestors who didn’t serve might have left behind draft records. This course will teach you what to look for and how to locate the records you seek.

Exploring City Directories: How to Trace Your Family in Yesterday’s Yellow Pages
City directories are indispensable tools for genealogists, but they go far beyond just listing your ancestor’s address. They connect an ancestor to a certain place in time and lead to a multitude of sources and present a fuller picture of your ancestors’ lives. In this course, we’ll explore city directories and their applications so you can fully take advantage of this comprehensive source.

Tracing Immigrants: How to Research Your Family's American Arrivals
Many people get interested in genealogy because they want to learn more about where their family came from—specifically, to find out which ancestors came over from the “old country” and when. This course will teach you how to identify an immigrant ancestor in your family tree. You’ll learn how to pinpoint when and where he or she left and locate records documenting his or her immigration. Each of the four lessons includes an assignment designed to help you progress in your research of an immigrant ancestor.

Research in Foreign Records: How to Find Your Family Across the Pond
After you’ve identified the immigrant in your family tree and pinpointed the place your family came from, you’re ready to begin exploring resources in the country. The third course in our immigrant research series walks you through the steps to successfully cross the pond and find your family in foreign records.

Writing Your Family Memoir: Create a Capitvating Record of Your Family's Story
The story of your own or your family’s history is likely to be the most personal, emotionally satisfying and overwhelming writing project you’ll ever undertake. You’ve collected oral histories, personal memories, journal entries, photographs, letters and countless other documents—now find out how to weave them together into a compelling story. In this course, you’ll work with a published writer to craft an outline for your book and start putting your family’s legacy down on paper.

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Choosing the Best Continuing Education Opportunities"

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG gave a presentation on "Choosing the Best Continuing Education Opportunities" at the APG Professional Management Conference on August 17, 2010. FamilySearch video taped the presentation and has made it available on the research courses page of their website.

Elissa Powell shares details on all types of programs such as: university courses, genealogy conferences, institutes, self-guided study, virtual peer group study, and on-line offering. She encourages taking a self-assessment to determine your educational needs and which type of program would be best for you. In addition Elissa covers money saving tips and scholarships available.

Along with the video presentation Elissa Powell and FamilySearch have made the handout for this presentation available. The handout covers descriptions of many genealogy education programs, list of scholarships available, and a self-assessment for evaluating your educational needs. It also includes a two page chart comparing educational programs on experience level, cost, instructional type, length of time, and format.

Description of the presentation from the APG PMC conference brochure:
"This lecture will present various options for continuing genealogical education and will show examples from each program. University courses, conferences, institutes, self-guided study, virtual peer group study, and on-line offerings will be highlighted. The pros and cons of learning styles, price, availability, time commitment and guidance discussed and compared. Attendees will achieve a better understanding of each type of study and will be able to evaluate which they want to pursue further in creating their own continuing education plan."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Evidence Analysis Webinar Available Online

I attended a live webinar last Saturday with Karen Clifford, AG speaking on "Evidence Analysis." Karen was speaking live at the ICAPGen (International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists) annual seminar in Salt Lake City, Utah, and simultaneously to a live online webinar audience hosted by Legacy Family Tree. I thought this presentation was excellent, and fortunately is is archived and available for others to view on the Legacy archived webinars page.

Karen was speaking to an ICAPGen conference audience, and some of her remarks were geared toward the 3 hour ICAPGen examination, but her ideas are not limited to that situation. She shared useful suggestions emphasizing analysis of documents and evidence throughout the research process. Karen covers terminology and then gives a case study illustrating how to apply the techniques she suggests. Her process includes elements such as analyzing the problem, organizing your data, brainstorming steps to a solution, conducting the research, recording your sources, comparing records, reaching a conclusion, and explaining your proof.

In this webinar you will hear Karen's voice and see her power point slides. This presentation is one hour eleven minutes long, and will be online until November 23, 2010. I suggest that you take time to view it while it is available.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Free Family History Center Conferences

Last month I had the opportunity to give several presentations at the Baltimore Family History Workshop. This in  a FREE annual genealogy conference hosted by the local Family History Center at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You can't get a better deal than free in genealogy education. At this conference there were over 50 classes to choose from and over 25 presenters. There were over 350 genealogists gathered to learn how to research their ancestry and connect with others who share their passion.

There are many Family History Centers that host annual conferences and provide this type of education to their patrons. Below is a list of some of the annual events that I am aware of, and check with your local Family History Center to see if there is a conference in your area.

New England Family History Conference (March)

Mid-Atlantic Family History Conference in Cherry Hill, NJ (April)

The Threads That Bind in Sioux Falls, SD (October)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

APG Professional Management Conference videos available

There were many excellent presentations shared at the Association of Professional Genealogist's Professional Management Conference last August. If you missed the conference you are in luck, because FamilySearch video recorded several of the lectures. They have now posted them on the FamilySearch research courses

page. Scroll down to the bottom of that page to see the APG videos. Some of the presentations have the handouts available for download also.

Here is a listing of the presentations available on the FamilySearch page from the 2010 APG conference:

A Key to Success: Your Online Presence - D. Joshua Taylor
In the 21st century, the online presence of any professional is essential to their success. This lecture will challenge professionals to think "outside the box" of a standard website, focusing on multiple online tools that can be used for their business. Specific topics will include Facebook, eBay, wiki technology, GoogleDocs, blogs, twitter, and other tools to market themselves and their businesses. Discussions of online security and privacy concerns will also be included, as well as techniques to use an online presence to communicate, share documents, and connect with a client.

Expand Your Revenue: Produce and Sell Your Lectures in Video Format - Donna M. Moughty
This presentation will look at the use of alternative to take your recorded lecture, add your slides, edit out any extraneous material, and create a DVD or downloadable audio or video podcast that you can sell. These skills not only enhance the experience for the viewer but can also provide an additional revenue stream for genealogists.

Niche Planning and Marketing - Paula Stuart Warren
Have you heard about the strategy to develop and market your specialty, your niche? What is or will be your niche? Decisions, decisions, decisions. Often the niche finds you in a form of genealogical serendipity. This lecture covers ways to help determine your niche, craft it to your liking, and figure out ways to let others know about your area or areas of expertise. Evaluating your own expertise can be painful but fulfilling and will let you know where you need to focus your educational efforts. We will discuss techniques for utilizing colleagues and clients to help in the evaluation process.

Choosing the Best Continuing Education Opportunities - Elissa Scalise Powell, CG
This lecture will present various options for continuing genealogical education and will show examples from each program. University courses, conferences, institutes, self-guided study, virtual peer group study, and on-line offerings will be highlighted. The pros and cons of learning styles, price, availability, time commitment and guidance discussed and compared. Attendees will achieve a better understanding of each type of study and will be able to evaluate which they want to pursue further in creating their own continuing education plan.

Get Published in Magazines! - Leslie Albrecht Huber
Many people dream of seeing their words in print but don't know how to go about getting them there. Others write occasionally for small-scale publications for free - but aren't sure how to take the next step to better paying and more widely circulated publications. This lecture will provide the information necessary to be more successful as a freelance writer. The focus will be on genealogy publications but will also cover history magazines and other general-interest magazines.

Additional presentations from the 2009 APG  Professional Management Conference are also available on the FamilySearch research courses page. Scroll down to the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) section near the bottom of the page. Those presentations include the following topics:

Bull's Eye! Planning and Delivering a Winning Marketing Campaign
In this hand-on lecture viewers will learn six essential marketing skills to craft attention-getting messages, cost effectively deliver them via print, web, and other outlets, and measure the return. Viewers will learn how to identify the target audience, craft a multimedia message, deliver that message, make the message viral, measure the return on investment and reward the customer.

The Bachelor: Reconstructing a Solitary Life Using Obscure & Far-Flung Records
Where do you turn when your research subject left no will, never married, and had no children? Discover how turning over every dusty rock along an ancestral trail can produce effective research results for clients. Viewers will learn about obscure and elusive resources and how casting a wide net across the span of his acquaintances and his time in history revealed the bachelor's nineteenth-century story -- a life full of adventure, peril, scandal, and a murder or two.

Get Paid for Your Passion: Becoming a Professional Genealogist
Many genealogists, hooked on the thrill of the chase, would like to know more about what it takes to become a professional and get paid for their passion. This lecture explores psychological, educational, and physical requirements for achieving that goal. Since many businesses fail within one to three years, tips are provided to help the attendee evaluate whether this is for him/her and what it takes to be successful. Topics covered include: defining professionalism; adjusting mental attitudes and doing a self-assessment; tips for success; learning progression; continuing education; finding a mentor; specializing; hanging out your shingle.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Becoming an Excellent Genealogist" - ICAPGEN Conference

The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGEN) is holding a two-day Family History conference in Salt Lake City at the Downtown Radisson Hotel (215 West South Temple) on 22 and 23 October 2010.

More information can be obtianed from the ICAPGEN website at  The Registration form is at  The Conference program is here.

Registration includes two full days of conference classes, a printed syllabus, a plated luncheon both days, vendor booth access, and time for networking. The Family History Library is pleased to announce that the library will remain open until 11:00 p.m. on Friday, October 22, 2010, so that you can combine research time with conference attendance!

Thanks to my friend Randy Seaver for sharing this announcement with me.

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) is a week long institute with 11 tracks on various genealogy topics. The 2011 institute will be held January 10th to the 14th in Salt Lake City, Utah at the downtown Radisson Hotel. This location is only one block from the Family History Library, and there will be time after classes to research in the library. There is still room in 10 of the 11 tracks, and the early bird discount is in effect until October 30th.

I attended the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in January of 2009 and thoroughly enjoyed the track on Professional Level Research. I will be returning to participate in the 2011 institute in the Advanced Methodology track. I have attended several genealogy institutes, and enjoy the focused education they provide. Some of the best genealogists in the country are going to be instructors in these courses.

Course descriptions describe the following tracks available in 2011:
American Records and Research: Focusing on Localities (Paula Stuart-Warren, CG)
New England Research Series Part 1 (D. Josh Taylor)
Ireland Research (David Ouimette, CG)
French Research (Earl Charvet)
Washington DC in Salt Lake (Pamela Sayre, CG and Rick Sayre, CG)
Professional Paths and Income in Genealogy (Kory Meyerink, AG)
Computers and Technology (Barbara Rennick)
Producing a Quality Family Narrative (John Colletta, Ph.D.)
Advanced Methodology (Tom Jones, Ph.D., CG) SOLD OUT
Accreditation and Certification (Apryl Cox, AG and Connie Lenzen, CG)
Problem Solving (Judith Hansen, AG)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Free Webinars from Ohana Software

Here is the October / November webinar schedule from Ohana Software. These are all free programs, but require registration. To participate you will log in to GoTo Meeting and participate online.

Care and Repair of Old Photographs
Guest Presenter: Janet Hovorka- Popular Genealogical Speaker
Come learn about what you can do to preserve your photographic heritage. We discuss how photos are formed, what we can do to take care of them and how to restore and enhance them digitally.
Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010               7:00 PM - 8:00 PM MDT

Family History Gifts Ideas from Heritage Collector
Guest Presenter: Marlo Schuldt - President of LifeStory Productions, Inc.; makers of Heritage Collector
Do you need gift ideas for the holidays?  Become inspired to create unique calendars, cards, storybook pages, and more by attending this class.  You will be guided through the process of producing personalized gifts for the holiday season and beyond, using Heritage Collector.
Thursday, Oct 21, 2010                     6:00 PM - 7:00 PM MDT

New Family History Technology
Guest Presenter: Paul Larsen author of  Crash Course in Family History
There are so many new family history tools and web sites, it's easy to feel somewhat overwhelmed. Here's a colorful tour of much of the new stuff to make it easier, save you hundreds of hours, and have fun connecting to your ancestors. Learn about the best of the Internet, free websites, and unique resources. Join us and see what you're missing!
Thursday, Oct 28, 2010                      7:00 PM - 8:00 PM MDT

FamilyInsight: Beyond the Basics
Presenter: Cina Johnson
If you are comfortable using FamilyInsight but want to  better utilize its features, this class is for you.  Learn how to link people or add other data while in Insight. Fix places that contain descriptive information, such as Bricklayer, instead of a place name.  We will work with the Compare and Sync mode to update one file from another file without adding duplicates.  I’ll even pass on a couple of trouble shooting tricks and tips.  Join this class to take your use of FamilyInsight to the next level!
Tue, Nov 16, 2010                            7:00 PM - 8:00 PM MST

Thursday, October 7, 2010

October classes at Family Tree University

To celebrate National Family History Month you may think about signing up for a Family Tree University course. The October session begins Monday the 11th, and there are three new courses available. The following schedule was posted by Family Tree University:

Strategies: Ethnic ancestors: Records and sources: Sharing history: